Oakland Has Seven Murders in Seven Days
Columnists, residents decry silence from city leaders
A full week of violence, from Sunday to Sunday in Oakland, Calif., has columnists and residents lambasting the city’s response.
Beginning with a movie theater shooting that injured four teens and a 23-year-old woman, the summer violence in one of the country’s most dangerous cities is taking its toll.
Oakland Tribune columnist Tammerlin Drummond on Sunday asked whether city leaders recognize the urgency of the problem:
How have Oakland's leaders responded to the worst sustained killing spree in the city in nearly five years? To a 15-year-old being shot to death outside his home in East Oakland?
An 84-year-old man being beaten so badly outside his pickup truck in the middle of the afternoon that he died the next day?
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Drummond went on the criticize a city councilwoman who held a news conference that had nothing to do with the “latest spasm of violence.” As of last weekend, Oakland was on pace for the same number of murders it had by this time last year. The official number of homicides was around 60.
The criticism comes even as a federal grand jury on Friday indicted 40 members of a violent East Oakland gang on trafficking, identity theft and firearms possession charges, the Tribune reports.
From the Tribune story:
They face fines ranging from $250,000 to $8 million and prison sentences ranging from five to 40 years. To date, 65 members or associates of the 100-member gang have been arrested and charged with various state and federal offenses as a result of a joint Oakland police, Drug Enforcement Agency and Secret Service case that started 18 months ago, initially as a narcotics and related violence investigation.
Thirty one of the defendants are alleged to have sold heroin and cocaine daily at 82nd Avenue and Birch Street and 72nd Avenue and Spencer Street, which are controlled by the gang, authorities said.
National crime statistics suggest crime is trending down around the country, even with unrelenting reports of violence in communities with high minority unemployment.